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2016 Jet-Black Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 170 Wheelbase 7G-Tronic transmission 4 Cylinder Diesel (PDF file) OM651 Crewcab


The purpose of this vehicle is to allow unrestricted travel, exploration and discovery in North America, and eventually beyond to Europe and Asia via SeaBridge shipping. History of travel adventures are detailed elsewhere.

Always a fan of the Space Shuttle programme, one of the ships was named Discovery. Discovery was Orbital Vehicle 103, and the very first to be retired followed by the Space Shuttles Endeavour and Atlantis. Unlike Challenger and Columbia, Discovery is now in a museum in Virginia at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, an annex of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

In honour of Space Shuttle Discovery, this Sprinter is named Discovery.

Welcome, to Discovery!


Buy vs build.

Buy the components needed, instead of building custom cabinetry. The exception to this rule was the installation of insulation and the hardboard wall panelling.

This philosophy provides for a very flexible vehicle, as very little is permanant and allows nearly anybody with a Sprinter to convert their van into a Discovery vehicle. Nearly everything inside the van, apart from the walls/ceiling/insulation and the heater, should be designed such that the item can be removed and reinstalled easily.

The ceiling consists of narrow hardboard (around 24 inches wide by 48 inches) that are screwed into the ceiling ribs with insulation inbetween. With a little effort, this can all be undone quickly to expose each section of the van ceiling.

Items such as the bed, toilet, main cabinet are all strapped securely using Erickson straps to the D-rings. When in Discovery mode (aka camping), everything is strapped in securely. If in the event the Sprinter is used to move large items such as full sheets of plywood, pallets, full size couches, etc., everything inside the van can be removed in under 20 minutes to make space for the large items.

Want to visit a new city or public lands and not have to find a hotel or place to stay? Strap in a comfortable queen sized memory foam mattress and frame, and stay wherever you want in comfort. Want a mobile office or showroom? Remove the bed or crew-cab seating and install a large table and chair, strapped in securely.

Hosting - No Affliate Links, No Ads, No Tracking

At Sprinter Discovery, there are no affiliate links or ads - only links to actual vendor products and respective websites. No analytics or tracking are embedded within the pages themselves.

Hosting - Amazon AWS Cloud Static Pages

The pages are hosted on the Amazon AWS S3 cloud as a static website, and delivered via the Amazon AWS CloudFront content delivery platform for fast access anywhere in the world over a secure TLS connection (https://) configured using the Amazon AWS Certificate Manager. The domain was purchased on Amazon AWS Route 53. The secure connection uses TLS 1.2 which is a modern cipher suite. It is encrypted and authenticated using AES_128_GCM and uses ECDHE_RSA as the key exchange mechanism. Files are gzip compressed on the server-side before being sent to your browser. This results in much smaller page sizes and faster download times. All pages are invalidated at all cloud edge locations when a new version of the website is posted, ensuring the lastest version is always available to the end-user.

Hosting - Static Page Benefits

The many benefits of this are lowered monthly costs (under USD$1.00 per month), a highly secure environment, no plug-ins or web-stack required, nor any chance of hidden back doors leading to security issues. Distributed Denial of Service attacks are mitigated through the use of AWS Shield.

No need for Drupal, Wordpress or any other content management system. Designed using open-source Jekyll using the included minima theme on the open-source Debian Linux operating system.

Hosting - Image Conversion and Compression

All images are converted to about 10% their original size and stripped of all EXIF/comments/profiles/date/sRGB data to save even more space. A watermark is added in the bottom centre of each image. All of this is accomplished using a simple bash script in Linux using the ImageMagick open-source software. This significantly reduces AWS S3 storage and transmission costs, and reduces the time required for CloudFront to distribute and cache all the objects at the edge locations. A significant increase in end-user browsing speed is achieved.

Hosting - Email Server

Email for Sprinter Discovery is hosted on Amazon AWS WorkMail, and costs just USD$4 per month (see pricing).


Want a similar system for your personal or business website? Contact us.

Modified: Fri, 19 Apr 2019 11:07:01 -0700